iMac 2011 El Capitan wont Boot after GPU Replacement

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by bowlerae, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. bowlerae, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016

    bowlerae macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    #1
    Hello,

    A few weeks ago my computer froze while I was using it so i performed a hard reset, after which the computer would not boot. I performed every troubleshoot I found online and got it to boot once successfully in single user mode but after about 20 minutes, my screen did a weird thing where it split in half and the left side of my screen was on the right, and the right side of my screen was on the left (the start menu was directly in the middle of the top of my screen). It is hard to describe but you can see a video here that I had uploaded to my Instagram page. After shutting it down again it would continue to not boot. The screen had blue and black lines through it.

    I took it to a repair shop and they diagnosed that it needed it a new GPU. I paid $650 and had them put in a new one. I finally got my computer back and powered it on. It appeared to run fine for 5 minutes and then all of the programs froze. I got the spinny wheel of death and even though I could move my mouse around, I could not click on anything including the start menu in order to shut down the computer. I performed a hard reset and now I'm presented with a circle icon with a slash through it. I have again tried every trouble shoot method I have seen suggested online but nothing is working. I am unable to boot in safe mode or recovery mode. When I try those steps nothing happens. I have accessed the terminal but the display freezes and the circle with the slash still comes through.

    Also, my computer has two 2 TB SSD and one 2 TB HDD. I just booted my computer and held down the Option key and I was given the choice to select which drive to boot from. Only one of the SDD was visible. I selected it but I got stuck on the Apple logo, I'm guessing because that drive didn't have the OS installed on it.

    I think the issue is hard drive failure on possibly two drives. Is there any way I can get my computer to boot and recover my files? I do have an Apple laptop and a USB drive if I need to create a removable boot disc but I don't know the steps and I'm not sure if any of this is related to the earlier GPU failure or anything else.

    Please see the photos below.


    Booting in single user mode with terminal which starts on a black screen and then turns to grey as the circle with slash icon appears behind. The text is also duplicated so it makes it hard to read:

    [​IMG]



    Attempting to boot normally or trying to boot in recovery or safe mode nothing happens and I am presented with this screen:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #2
    It could very well be a failed drive given the symptoms. Follow this guide to create a bootable USB installer on the other Mac you have, then try to boot from that and see if it works. In any case, I think you should contact the repair shop and explain the situation as it's possible that they broke something while replacing the GPU.
     
  3. bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    #3
    .

    I have not yet creates the boot able drive but I was able to access recovery mode earlier today after the first few attempts failed. I selected Install a New Copy of OS X but the default choice was Lion. When when selecting the target drive it said I couldn't upgrade that job because a higher version was already installed (El Capitan). So it makes sense that I would be able to use the method you mentioned earlier. However, my question is now...if I reinstall El Capitan, will that erase my files on my drive?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    If you do a so-called upgrade install (i.e. just install it normally), it won't erase the files. You would have to erase the hard drive in Disk Utility to remove the files. However, if the drive is really dead then the reinstallation likely won't go through and the files may not be readable anymore.
     
  5. bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

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    Jul 10, 2016
    #5
    Ok so I created the bootable drive and I booted up my Mac holding down the option key. I selected my bootable drive and I went into Disk Utility and chose "First Aid" for my SSD. My HDD is a Time Machine Backup and was locked so my SSD was the only thing I could select.

    I exited out of Disk Utility and attempted to select the first option, Restore from a Time Machine Backup. I selected my HDD as the source but when it came time to select a destination, there were no options available.

    I restarted the system and attempted to just let it boot normally. Still getting the circle with the slash through it.

    I'm worried that if I go back into Disk Utility and erase the SSD, then when I try again to Restore from a Time Machine Backup, then I will have the same issue of not being able to select the destination. What good is a backup if I can't put it anywhere?

    What should my next step be? Thanks.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    What file system is the SSD using? Perhaps you can take a photo while in Disk Utility (with a phone since you can't take screenshots) to give us a better idea of what's going on.
     
  7. bowlerae, Jul 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

    bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    #7
    --- Post Merged, Jul 12, 2016 ---
    Is anyone able to view my images? only the very first image I posted is showing but all of the images are hosted on the same domain and roughly the same size. Is there a limit to the number of images I can post? The images appear as I write and edit the post.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 12, 2016 ---



    Ok well I decided to go back into Disk Utility and erase my SSD drives which was probably not a good idea because I'm afraid my situation is probably now worse than if I were to take it back to the repair shop. I actually think I have two SSD drives and one HDD but I'm not certain if I have two SDDs or one (not sure if it's one that was partitioned or two that were raided). I did not originally put the drives in as I bought the computer used and I don't know much about partitioning and raiding Mac drives.

    (Sorry the pictures are crappy)

    First, here are pictures of the two drives before I did anything.

    This one I was successfully able to erase and named SSD1
    [​IMG]

    And this one that failed on erasure, I tried to name it SSD2.
    [​IMG]



    I was able to erase (what I think was the first of two) SSD drives and renamed it as SSD1.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The drive SSD1 is selectable when it comes time for me to reinstall El Capitan or as a destination for the TMB.

    [​IMG]

    Sounds like that should be good enough but unfortunately my TMB is too large to fit on the drive! (Question: I can't actually tell what the size of my backup is. Do you think I'm getting the error message because I have not yet installed an OS on the drive or am I getting the error message because my backup is legitimately over 1 TB? If the former, would installing the OS on the drive allow my backup to "fit"?)

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of what I believe to be the second, and corrupt SSD but again not sure if it's actually the same drive just a different partition of it, I don't really understand that part of it as I mentioned before. I tried erasing it and renaming it to SSD2 after which the "Untitled" drive appeared.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a picture when I selected the "Untitled" drive. The options to Repair, Erase and (Un)Mount this drive are disabled. If you look back at my first two photos, this "Untitled" drive was not here originally. It only appeared after I tried erasing the parent and failed (see next paragraph). It is hard to read the text but the info window says "Can be repaired: No, Writable: No, Bootable: No, Can be Verified: No"

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I tried to erase "the parent" drive but it stalls on the step "Formatting disk0s1 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with name SSD2". Ultimately the erasure fails as seen here.

    [​IMG]

    I tried running First Aid but it comes back with no errors.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    I put in a request for the other staff to look into why the photos don't show up. I can also seem them when I go and edit your post, so it's a weird problem.

    Anyway, what you should do now is install OS X from the USB installer to the functioning SSD (i.e. SSD1). Once the installation is complete, you can migrate data from the Time Machine backup. Unlike the full restore, in that step you can select what to migrate, so it won't give you the same space error. You can also move data afterwards.

    As for the non-functioning SSD, you could try secure erasing it. The only way to do that is to create a bootable Ubuntu stick and running a couple of Terminal commands. I can walk you through it, but I think you should try installing OS X first and make sure the other SSD is fine.
     
  9. bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

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    Jul 10, 2016
    #9
    Thank you. I installed El Capitan on the working SSD1 and was able to successfully transfer my backup over. I booted up entirely and everything seemed to be working though I didn't open any apps. The past few days during the random times I was able to boot properly, my computer would freeze when I opened any apps. I will try opening some apps later today and see if it still acts funny.

    I would like to try what you suggested of secure erasing the second SSD and then pairing the two together in a raid.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #10
    First you need to create a bootable Ubuntu USB drive by following the instructions here. Then boot from the USB drive and select "Try Ubuntu without installing" (or similar, it should be default option on the top anyway).

    Once you're inside Ubuntu, open Disk Utility, which should look like this:

    [​IMG]
    The drives are listed on the left-hand side column and what you need to do is select the SSD2. Since the drives are identical, the differentiating factor should be that the SSD1 has a partition, whereas the SSD2 doesn't, so check for that. Although if you're going to RAID the drives, it doesn't matter if you actually secure erase both drives because you'll need to reinstall OS X anyway.

    Once you've selected the SSD2, write down the device ID, which is /dev/sda in the picture above. You'll need this in the next step.

    Then open Terminal and input the following command:

    Code:
    sudo hdparm --user-master u --security-set-pass pass /dev/X
    Where X is the device ID i.e. sda in the screenshot above. Next enter the following command:

    Code:
    sudo hdparm --user-master u --security-erase pass /dev/X
    If you get an error saying that the drive is frozen, put the computer to sleep, wake it up and rerun the command.

    Once it's completed the drive has been secure erased and you can try installing OS X again.
     
  11. bowlerae, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016

    bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

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    Jul 10, 2016
    #11
    I created a bootable Ubuntu drive and have booted from it. However, neither my bluetooth mouse or keyboard could be paired so I essentially cannot move inside of the OS.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    Do you have a USB keyboard or mouse that you could use? You really only need one or the other. If not, you could just pick up a cheap keyboard for $10 or so.
     
  13. bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

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    Jul 10, 2016
    #13
    Ok I have a USB mouse that is working correctly. But my copy of Ubuntu (the latest version) does not have Disk Utility.

    ....Nevermind I was able to find the application called Disks but it was in a weird spot.
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    Yeah the name can vary depending on the distro and version. Were you able to complete the secure erase?
     
  15. bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

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    Jul 10, 2016
    #15
    I have not been able to get Ubuntu Disk software to work. Is there anything I can do in OS X Terminal? Also, I have a copy of DiskWarrior 5. my device is recognized under "hardware" and when I run "test device" it comes back saying "drive is functioning normally". However, it the drive is not appearing under "directory" so it cannot be rebuilt.
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #16
    So Ubuntu works otherwise but the Disks software doesn't? No worries, you actually only need Terminal to work.

    Code:
    sudo hdparm -I /dev/sdX
    Replace X with a, b, c... Run the above command to figure out what drive letters the SSDs have. You may not be able to tell the two SSDs apart, but since your goal is to RAID them, secure erasing both doesn't do any harm. Once you've figured out the drive letters, just run the commands I posted earlier.

    Unfortunately, neither OS X' Terminal or DiskWarrior can secure erase a drive.
     
  17. bowlerae thread starter macrumors newbie

    bowlerae

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    Jul 10, 2016
    #17

    I was finally able to erase my drive and rename it SSD2 in OS X Disk Utility after many failed attempts. Not sure why this one worked but I was not able to use Ubuntu Terminal because I still did not have a keyboard that would work. So now I guess I need to figure out how to raid them.
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    That's awesome. To create a RAID array, you need to use OS X Terminal. See instructions here.
     
  19. dr.oid, Jul 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016

    dr.oid macrumors newbie

    dr.oid

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    Aug 11, 2013
    #19
    hello bowlerae, did you try internet recovery and target disk mode recovery with another mac? do you have a proper backup of all your important data? remote diagnostics is quite a challenge..so the logical error-solving path remains.. weird display issues are usually associated with GPU and not properly attached/functioning connector-cable problems, no boot symptoms related to drive failures, your mac may have both of them.. or a gpu driver error which causes improper functioning.. check out whether there's any firmware upgrade related to your machine and the gpu installed..if you are unable to start any applications or use your imac even after these efforts please ask your service to recheck it.
     
  20. kiwipeso1 Suspended

    kiwipeso1

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    Wellington, New Zealand
    #20
    Remember that El Capitan removes the RAID functionality, and it will return in Sierra.
     

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